Zink Letter #3 Soldiers Letter Index 16th OVI Home Page Zink Letter #5
Letter (#4) from Pvt. Charles Zink, Co. B, 16th OVI
Camp Cumberland, Cumberland Ford, Kentucky - June 5, 1862
to the Holmes County Farmer newspaper at Millersburg, Ohio
Published June 19, 1862
Web Author's Notes:
This is a letter from Pvt. Charles M. Zink, Company B, sent to the Holmes County Farmer newspaper in Millersburg, Ohio. Zink is writing from Camp Cumberland, at Cumberland Ford (now Pineville), Kentucky, where the regiment was camped.

In this letter Private Zink mentions the mission to try and capture a Rebel force heading for Union troops at Big Gap Creek and goes on to describe their current campsite along with information on other battles and movements inthe general area.

newspaper article


From the 16th Regiment.

CAMP CUMBERLAND, KY., June 5, 1862.

MESSRS. ESTILL--Dear Sirs : I suppose news from the 16th will be anxiously looked for, as a forward movement had taken place some weeks ago. This has been changed entirely by a counter movement of the Rebels which was not known until the day we moved.

The place of our destination was Jacksborough, Tenn., at which place the Rebels held back a reserve of about 3,000 men to reinforce either Cumberland or Big Creek Gap. The plan of the General commanding was to cut off this reserve, and from thence proceed to Cumberland Gap; but the Rebels, through some traitorous source, were informed of our movement and withdrew the reserve from there to Cumberland Gap, thus changing the entire operation.

We are encamped at Clear Creek, 5 miles above our old encampment, on the same ground that the famous Zollicoffer encamped in former days. We occupy a position which enables us, by being well fortified, to keep in check a formidable force of the enemy. Points are being cleared by felling the timber, by roads blockaded, and everything arranged so as to be ready for an attack, and it repulsed we can fall back to the fortifications.

Several times we have been roused by alarms and formed into line of battle, expecting the enemy to pay us a visit, but they have never made their appearance. On Monday morning last the Rebel pickets came within 500 yards of Capt. Whetmore's battery. It being very foggy they did not discover their position until surrounded by our pickets, but not having a sufficient force we could not take them prisoners.

Gladly we received the news of the defeat of Jackson by General Banks and of General McClellan's success. May his footsteps soon tread upon the ruins of the capitol of Secessia.

Corinth is evacuated. Not two weeks ago Beauregard congratulated his troops upon having an opportunity of meeting the invaders of their soil face to face, and now he has fled like a coward, and his name will be branded as such.

It is said that there are from 22,000 to 28,000 troops stationed along the line from Cumberland Gap to Knoxville.

The health of the troops in our division is tolerable good. Our regiment is doing better than any one else. I am told that the 49th Indiana can hardly muster 200 men, while when they left Indiana they mustered 975 as good men as left the State. Our regiment musters between 650 and 700 men.

Capt. Foster of the 1st Wisconsin Artillery has been appointed Chief of Artillery of the division. He has made several trials with the 20 and 30 pound Parrot guns, 4 of which are attached to this division. Some days ago he threw a 30-pound shell within 5 yards of the target, at a distance of over three miles.

Yesterday a young man named Burns of Company K, 16th Reg't, was severely injured while engaged in felling timber. He received a blow from a falling tree, which broke his hip bone, his back in several places, and his arm. The Surgeon considers his recovery as doubtful.

Why do we not get the papers any more? You can hardly imagine how valuable your paper is in camp, bringing as it does news home. A small sum could not be invested in a better manner by our friends at home than to send such papers to their friends in the army. Yours, truly,

Yours, Truly,


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